Seoul: South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Friday called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to cooperate closely for North Korea’s denuclearization and the stable management of the political situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Yoon made the call during a 25-minute phone conversation with Xi a day after North Korea test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time since 2017, reports Yonhap News Agency.
“Regarding North Korea’s ICBM-class missile launch yesterday, President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol stressed that the people are greatly concerned over the rapid escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the region caused by North Korea’s serious provocation,” Yoon’s spokesperson Kim Eun-hye said.
“(Yoon) called for the two countries to cooperate closely to realise the complete denuclearization of North Korea and for the stable management of the political situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
Yoon and Xi agreed to communicate closely to set up a meeting between them at an early date after the President-elect’s inauguration in May, she added.
North Korea earlier confirmed it successfully test-fired a new ICBM, called the Hwasong-17, on Thursday at the direct order of its leader Kim Jong-un, scrapping a self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile testing that had been in place since late 2017.
China is North Korea’s main ally and economic benefactor, and its cooperation is key to getting Pyongyang to dismantle its missile and nuclear weapons programs.